A Stone Should Live Alone:
My mother had just turned forty when my father died. During the seven days of deep mourning, an elderly landsfrau of my mother’s, Esther Tamarkin, came to visit us.
“I have been, blessed be God, a widow for over twenty years,” sighed Esther. “I have lived by myself, and a stone should live alone. Learn from my example. A woman like you with three young children should look forward, not back,”
“What can I do if God has seen fit to punish me?” asked my mother.
“What’s done can’t be undone,” said Esther. “If you remarry, will you wrong the memory of your husband? It will be better for the children and for you too.”
“How can you speak of such a thing?” said my mother, her eyes filling with tears.
“May the harm I intended fall on my head,” said Esther, and she fell silent.
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